LONDON (AP) — Chelsea’s Russian owner Roman Abramovich has confirmed he is trying to sell the Premier League club he turned into an elite trophy-winning machine with his lavish investment.
"I have always taken decisions with the Club’s best interest at heart," Abramovich said in a statement. "In the current situation, I have therefore taken the decision to sell the Club, as I believe this is in the best interest of the Club, the fans, the employees, as well as the Club’s sponsors and partners."
The speed of the Russian oligarch's looming exit from Chelsea is striking as he was trying to instigate a plan this past weekend to relinquish some control in order to keep the club under his ownership.
But as Russia’s war on Ukraine entered a seventh day, pressure was growing on the British government to include him among the wealthy Russians to be targeted in sanctions.
Abramovich said he has instructed his team to set up a charitable foundation where net proceeds from the sale will be donated to victims of the war in Ukraine.
"This includes providing critical funds towards the urgent and immediate needs of victims, as well as supporting the long-term work of recovery," Abramovich said.
According to Forbes, Chelsea FC is valued at $3.2 billion.